The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm and it continues to keep people from around the world inside their homes for their safety. Since a vaccine or medication is yet to reach the general public, social distancing is the best way to curb the spread of this disease. Just like every other thing, educational institutions have also come to a standstill. However, in an effort to keep up continual learning, schools are resorting to online classes for all their students.
While the method is effective in keeping children up to date with their respective syllabi, one challenge that teachers are facing is engaging students during the online learning process. Teaching them when they are physically present in the classroom is challenging enough. So, when they are not, it becomes even more difficult. In the following lines, let us take a look at some simple tips that can help teachers in enhancing student engagement and making sure the purpose of online classes is served to the fullest:
- Make the classes shorter - Instead of taking longer sessions, it is advisable to keep them short and crisp. This ensures that the students are listening to the whole session since it matches their attention span. Based on the topic chosen by the teachers, they should design the class in such a way that all the key points are discussed in a compact manner. Keeping them short will make the learning process easier and students will be able to understand and remember it better.
- Progress check-in - Conduct tests with the help of school ERP software and make sure to check the progress of the students periodically. Make sure that the learning is effective and students are able to grasp whatever they are being taught. Conducting tests and grading them keeps up the competitive spirit in students. They work harder to score better and the same grades can be shared with the parents to make them aware of the situation.
In case of any students performing below par, special attention should be given to them and extra classes may be conducted to keep up their progress with the rest of the students.
- Introduce an element of fun - The old adage, ‘All work and no play…’ holds true even today. So, make sure that you introduce some fun in the online learning environment. A group activity such as games can be included and this will make the students look forward to these sessions.
- Conduct quizzes with rewards for best performance - In addition to the tests, teachers will need to keep the students on their toes by lieu of quizzes. These can be on-the-spot or planned. The purpose of conducting them is the same - to keep the students engaged at all times and ensure that they are able to understand the lessons being taught.
Rewarding students who perform well in these quizzes is an added benefit. Make sure that you inform them of the prizes so that they compete with each other.
- Make the most of technology integration - Use resources that are technologically adept and make the classes better. Audio and video files, whiteboards, file sharing tools and live interactions are some of the ways in which student engagement can be maximised in the virtual classroom.
- Design specific rules to follow - As with the physical classrooms where students are expected to sit quietly until they get a chance to ask questions, the teacher has to define a few ground rules and ensure that these are followed at all times. Make sure to allocate specific time periods for chats, questions, etc. This will give rise to better classroom management and also keep the students disciplined.
All those schools that are striving to keep learning a continuous process with the help of school ERP software can make use of these tips so as to engage their students to the maximum. It is a fairly new concept in India and hence, should be done in the right manner without any glitches. These tips are effective and are easy to implement too. So, they should be considered by all the schools and teachers.